Khobragade Skates Through Narrow Window of Diplomatic Immunity

Khobragade Skates Through Narrow Window of Diplomatic Immunity

"U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin of the Southern District of New York dismissed charges Wednesday against Devyani Khobragade, the deputy consul general arrested in December and charged with lying to investigators on the visa application for her domestic employee.  The judge ruled that Khobragade had diplomatic immunity at the time* of the Jan. 9 indictment, which may no longer apply now that she has returned to India.  Prosecutors said they might seek a new indictment, although they did not provide a specific timeline.  “The judge ruled there’s no bar to a new indictment, and we intend to proceed accordingly,” said James M. Margolin, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York." - Annie Gowen, Washington Post, Mar. 13, 2014.

* "It is undisputed that Khobragade acquired full diplomatic immunity at 5:47 PM on January 8, 2014, and did not lose that immunity until her departure from the country on the evening of January 9,2014.  On January 9, immediately following the return of the Indictment, Khobragade appeared before the Court through counsel and moved to dismiss the case.  Because the Court lacked jurisdiction over her at that time, and at the time the Indictment was returned, the motion must be granted." - Order, pp. 7-8.